Google takes new portable Street View Trekker rig on maiden voyage – into the Grand Canyon [VIDEO]

// October 24th, 2012 // Internet


Google Street View Trekker operator checks the system on his Android device

Google announced today that they are taking their new Trekker Street View camera systems into the Grand Canyon to map the National Parks hiking trails including Bright Angel Trail, South Kaibab Trail, and more. This will be Trekker’s first official outing. The results will be posted on Google Maps/Street View so users can take virtual hikes through the Grand Canyon from the comfort of their couch.

Google Street View Trekker in the Grand CanyonWhere earlier Street View systems required vans loaded full of equipment, today the entire system can fit into a backpack weighing about 40 lbs. The wearable, rugged, waterproof Trekker backpack carries the camera on top, in a case that looks like a soccer ball, to capture 360-degree images of the surrounding area. Inside the Trekker system is a cluster of 15 camera lenses, each respective lens with a resolution of 5 megapixels, shooting a photo every 2.5 seconds. Everything is controlled by an HTML5 app running on a USB-attached Android phone called “Trekker Interface”. The app allows operators to not only start up the rig (which takes about 10 minutes in good weather) but also to see the shots they’re getting shortly after photos are snapped.

“The narrow ridges and steep, exposed trails of the Grand Canyon provide the perfect terrain for our newest camera system. The Trekker—which its operator controls via an Android phone and automatically gathers photos as he walks—enables the collection of high-quality imagery from places that are only accessible on foot.”

Three of the Trekker backpacks were taken on the maiden voyage.

Here’s a Google sponsored video of the Trekker unit:

Google’s Street View Trekker unit
Sources: Google, Wired Magazine
Geek wear at Ivy and Pearl Boutique

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